Oneonta Band voted best in SUNY

Two SUNY Oneonta bands swept the competition last semester in the first-ever SUNY Music Madness contest to determine the most popular student musical act among SUNY’s 64 campuses. After a fiercely competitive final round of voting, rock band Somewhere Up There bested alternative pop‑rock group Hello, Seattle by just 31 votes to become the Music Madness champion. More than 10,000 votes were cast in three rounds of voting.

Oneonta’s active music scene, offering opportunities to perform at venues ranging from a restored Vaudeville theatre to an upscale supper club, is the perfect incubator for student talent. Eight of the 10 students in the two bands are music industry majors, and they credited skills they learned in the classroom—from marketing techniques to negotiating a booking—with giving them the tools to be successful. Just as valuable is the support they’ve received from the music faculty, whether it’s words of advice or a high-five after a gig.

“I want to give a shout-out to all the teachers in the Music Industry program,” said Somewhere Up There front man Nick Squillante, who entered the contest an hour before the deadline after a faculty member encouraged him to go for it. “They’ve always told us to keep pushing for our dreams.”

Somewhere Up There performs during a battle of the bands event at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY.
Photo by Michael Forster Rothbart

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